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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/750

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

coast at low tide, and the fantastic analogy, which had not occurred to waking consciousness, suggested itself during sleep.

The following dream illustrates an association of quite a different order: I imagined I was sitting at a window, at the top of a house, writing. As I looked up from my table I saw, with all the emotions naturally accompanying such a sight, a woman in her night dress appear at a lofty window some distance off and throw herself down. I went on writing, however, and found that in the course of my literary employment—I am not clear as to its precise nature—the very next thing I had to do was to describe exactly such a scene as I had just witnessed. I was extremely puzzled at such an extraordinary coincidence: it seemed to me wholly inexplicable. Such dreams, reduplicating the imagery in a new sensory medium, are fairly common, with me at all events, though I can not easily explain them. The association is not so much of analogy as of sensory media, in this case the visual image becoming a verbal motor image. In other cases a scene is first seen as in reality, and then in a picture. It is interesting to observe the profound astonishment with which sleeping consciousness apperceives such simple reduplication.

It sometimes happens that the confused imagery of dreams includes elements drawn from forgotten memories—that is to say, that sleeping consciousness can draw on faint impressions of the past which waking consciousness is unable to reach. This is a very important type of dream because of its bearing on the explanation of certain dream phenomena which we are sometimes asked to bow down before as supernatural. I may illustrate what I mean by the following very instructive case. I woke up recalling the chief items of a rather vivid dream: I had imagined myself in-a large old house, where the furniture, though of good quality, was ancient, and the chairs threatened to give way as one sat on them. The place belonged to one Sir Peter Bryan, a hale old gentleman who was accompanied by his son and grandson. There was a question of my buying the place from him, and I was very complimentary to the old gentleman's appearance of youthfulness, absurdly affecting not to know which was the grandfather and which the grandson. On awaking I said to myself that here was a purely imaginative dream, quite unsuggested by any definite experiences. But when I began to recall the trifling incidents of the previous day I realized that that was far from being the case. So far from the dream having been a pure effort of imagination I found that every minute item could be traced to some separate source. The name of Sir Peter Bryan alone completely baffled me; I could not even recall that I had at that time ever heard of any one called Bryan. I abandoned the search and made my notes of the dream and its sources. I had scarcely done so when I chanced to